In Touch with Prairie Living
By Michael M. Miller
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection (GRHC) at the NDSU
Libraries in Fargo reaches out to prairie families and former Dakotans.
In various ways, it affirms the heritage of the Germans from Russia
is an important part of the northern plains culture. Begun in November,
1996, I begin the third year of this monthly column. My thanks to
many readers with favorable responses with letters and e-mail messages.
In September, Prairie Public TV and I traveled to the central
Dakotas and the Twin Cities for filming activities relating to the
foodways of the Germans from Russia. We filmed in kitchens of homes
in Balta and Rugby, ND, and St. Louis, Park, MN. We filmed at the
Schmeckfest at Eureka, SD on September 17-18. The video footage
will be important for PPTV's documentary of the foodways and traditions
of the Germans from Russia. My thanks to persons for their cooperation:
Agnes Bertsch Ripplinger, Balta; Theresa Kuntz Bachmeier, Clara
Ebach, Carolyn Weisbeck Hoffert, Theresa Giesinger Jordan and Mary
Ebach, Rugby; Sam Brungardt, St. Paul; Bernelda Kallenberger Becker,
Betty Lackman Fiske, Carol Just Halverson, Jackie Dohn Maas, Martha
Schaefer Suppan and Judy Eman Teske filmed at St. Louis Park, MN,
and Laurie Haller Stickelmyer and Edmund & Hulda Opp, Eureka, SD.
Prairie Public TV premieres the new Germans from Russia foodways
and customs program in March, 2000. The video program will have
an "Arizona Premiere" on Saturday, March 4, 2000, 9:30 am to 12:30
pm, at the Scottsdale Public Library Theater, Scottsdale, AZ. The
program will be free and open to the public.
In October, Bob Dambach, director of productions at Prairie Public
Television, Fargo, and I traveled to Karkow, Poland, to attend the
Third International Ethnic Television Film Festival. The Germans
from Russia documentary was nominated as one of twenty-six films
chosen for the festival for competition, and the only selection
from North America.
Prairie Public Broadcasting has announced the "Cultural Heritage
Tour" for September 14-25, 2000. The tour includes southern Germany,
(Alsace) France, Switzerland, and Austria. The tour is limited for
space. Tour leaders will be Bob & Virginia Dambach and Michael Miller.
Dambach and Miller are producers of the award-winning Germans from
Russia documentary. For more information, contact Prairie Public,
Cultural Heritage Tour, PO Box 3240, Fargo, ND 58107 (Tel: 1-800-359-6900).
My thanks to the Germans from Russia community for their support
to contact their local PBS station to air the Germans from Russia
documentary. Since February, the program at been shown on these
PBS stations: Fresno, Huntington Beach, Sacramento, San Mateo, CA,
Minneapolis & Bemidji/Brainerd, MN, Denver, CO, Salt Lake City,
UT, Spokane, WA, Topeka & Wichita, KS, Peoria, IL, and Saginaw,
MI. State-wide PBS coverage includes Kansas, Montana, Nebraska,
North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
The award-winning documentary videotape, "The Germans from Russia:
Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie", continues to be
well received throughout North America. To secure the videotape,
contact Prairie Public at 1-800-359-6900.
This "Collector's Edition" of the videotape includes 20-minute bonus
video footage, "Ukraine Places & Faces" of beautiful filming from
the former German villages near Odessa not shown in the one-hour
documentary. See many interesting pages about the documentary at
the Prairie Public Broadcasting website: http://www.prairiepublic.org.
For further information about donations to the collection including
family histories, outreach programs, Glückstal publications, videotape
documentary, Journey to the Homeland Tour to (Odessa) Ukraine, (Alsace)
France, and (Stuttgart) Germany (including the large Germans from
Russia gathering called the Bundestreffen), for June 6-19, 2000
tour; GRHC's latest publications, "Tender Hands: Ruth's Story of
Healing" and "Homeland Book of the Bessarabian Germans", and German-Russian
heritage, contact Michael M. Miller, NDSU Libraries, PO Box 5599,
Fargo, ND 58105-5599 (Tel: 701-231-8416; E-mail: Michael.Miller@ndsu.edu;
GRHC website: http://library.ndsu.edu/grhc).